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katehaney

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07:24 am: inner conflict resolution
Friday was Field Day. The day is almost* No Fun At All for me, because I burn easily, I'm not good in crowds, and (most important) Teddy doesn't like crowds, noise, sports, or anything at which he's not winning.

And my presence makes for lots of tears. (Several people assured me that he didn't have any breakdowns in my absence.)

:sigh:

I like that Teddy is sensitive. It's a pain in the ass sometimes, but he feels things deeply and I think that's A Good Thing. I love that I'm his refuge. I want to always be his refuge, no matter the circumstances.

The fact that he needs more refuge when I'm around is less clear cut. Is it all Just Too Much and he's violently suppressing the need to cry otherwise? Is he using my presence as an excuse to get out of not winning?

His teacher, who is a lovely woman, sidled up to me at one point and tactfully suggested that we may want to look for other ways to express comfort in public, as Teddy's flinging himself at me, crying, and particularly my picking him up to snuggle him**, is sufficiently unusual in first grade to attract negative attention from his peers.

(To be clear, other kids were also crying, though not as often or as noticeably. By the end of the day, many, many kids were All Done. And I was not the only one picking up kids to comfort them.)

More important (though I trust Mrs. M's judgment) is that Teddy has expressed discomfort at crying in front of other kids because they look at him when he cries.

So we'll keep having time-ins and snuggle-downs at home, and look for other methods when we're out and about.


* I love seeing the kids, but prefer them in the library, where there are fewer of them and there is no sunburn.
** My default in any case, but stupid plantar fasciitis makes squatting quite painful and there were no chairs.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: embarrassedchagrined

Comments

[User Picture]
From:occhi_cinesi
Date:May 29th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)

Yeah, this one is hard

(Link)
... dd doesn't cry but she does shut down and becomes overly cautious when I'm around. She also doesn't like me helping other kids or other kids looking to me for help: I Am Her Mommy And No One Else's.

But play dates for dd are fine, so I find this interesting...

I may be a bit cold when it happens; it reminds me when ss used to do this: have a great time when bm wasn't there but when she was there, or when he returned home, the crying/clingyness/refuge happened (which is normal, right?) but she over-coddled it (imho) and he learned that that response was what she wanted/needed/expected, etc. While the bm over-reacted to it, you're not. Teddy is quite capable and independent and not-dependent when with you.

At the fire station field trip, the teacher noted that while this wasn't normal for dd on any other day, that it was common for some kids when their parents are there and that I was doing the right thing by not 'giving in' or treating her differently than I normally would. My preschool is all about 'making choices' and dd was choosing not to sit in the fire truck or hold the water hose, etc. and that was okay. It was nice feedback, given that I don't know what the eff I'm doing! hahahaha!!!

Good luck, I imagine he won't go off to college clingy!

xoxoxoxoxox

[User Picture]
From:katehaney
Date:May 29th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)

I think he'll be all set by college

(Link)
Teddy is fine on playdates. Other kids also cry - some more, some less. I'm confident that Teddy's right in the middle on that behavior. (Other kids are also as bossy as he is, which I find equally reassuring.)

I talked to a couple of teachers whom I don't know, both of which identified it quickly as Mommy's-here-breakdown-for-her Syndrome. So apparently it's not all that unusual.

The change to public comfort is OK. I can live with it. Teddy did say it's not embarrassing to cry when I'm there, which I think is weird, but he's find with trying something different.

And of course it only really comes up a couple of times a year, so it's not as if we get tons of practice.

:sigh:
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